Dancing With the Stars: The Workout
Get ready to dance
Most of us weren't born with the flexibility of an Olympic gymnast—and that includes ABC's Dancing With the Stars pro Cheryl Burke. "I am not one of those girls who can just land in a split," says Cheryl, 28. "I need to warm up to be flexible."
Before you launch into a dance workout, Burke recommends doing this eight-minute warm-up routine, which stretches and strengthens the muscles surrounding the hips, thighs, and ankles. Three days a week, begin with two minutes of jumping jacks and dive into these moves. DWTS-style heels—strictly optional!
Plié and Pulse
Strengthens and stretches thighs, hips and glutes
How to do it: Stand with feet a bit wider than hip-width, toes turned out. With hands on hips and back straight, lower butt toward ground until you feel a stretch in thighs. Pulse, moving ever so slightly up and down, for 10 counts. Rest for 30 to 60 seconds; repeat.
ABC leg raise
Stretches and strengthens feet and ankles
How to do it: Extend right leg, point toes and "write" the entire alphabet in lowercase letters, using right leg as the "pen." Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat alphabet using uppercase letters and a larger range of motion. Repeat with left leg.
Staggered-leg wall squat
Stretches calves and strengthens glutes and thighs
How to do it: Stand facing a wall or bar, an arm's length away. Take a step back with right leg and lower into a staggered squat. Lean into the wall to feel a deep stretch in lower calf. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.
Standing cat stretch
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Lower into a squat and place hands on thighs. Arch back (A). Brace abs by pulling belly button toward spine and round spine toward ceiling (B). Repeat 15 times without returning to standing. Rest for 30 seconds; repeat.
Now that your muscles are warmed up, bust a move and get toned all over with this salsa workout. "The salsa is based on 3 counts, making it one of the easiest dances to learn," Burke says.
Do this routine four times a week for 20 to 30 minutes. To keep your heart rate up, repeat the
Basic Side Step (see next slide) after each move. We break down the moves into steps here, but try to flow through them naturally.
Basic Side Step
Start with feet together. Step out with left foot, swinging hips to left and putting weight on left foot ( A). Step right foot in place, shifting weight and hips back to center; step back to center with left foot (B). Repeat, stepping out to right. Keep arms bent at about 90 degrees and swing them to the beat. Do the sequence twice.
Start with feet together. Repeat side step, but as you step to left, let left arm float up to shoulder height. Step right foot in place, and bring left arm back toward body as you step left foot back in. Repeat, stepping out to right and raising right arm ( A), then bringing right arm back in (B). Do the sequence twice.
Salsa Half Turn
Start with feet together. Step across body with left foot, crossing in front of your right ( A). Step and pivot clockwise on right foot and land with left foot next to right (B). Repeat, stepping with right leg. Keep arms bent at 90 degrees and swing them to the beat. Do the sequence twice.
Salsa Full Turn
Start with feet together. Step forward with left foot ( A). Step and turn clockwise with weight on right foot, pointing left toes and trying to keep them just above the ground as you spin (B). Land in starting position. Repeat, stepping forward with right foot and turning counterclockwise. Do the sequence twice.
Start with feet together. Step left foot in front and across right, rising to ball of right foot ( A). Step right foot forward beside left; cross left leg in front again. Swing right leg out (B) as you step around in front of left leg, rising to ball of left foot. Repeat steps, moving to the left. Do the sequence twice.
Step left foot out so feet are shoulder-width apart, rolling shoulders back and arching back ( A), then hunching them forward for one pulse (B). Pulse shoulders again, stepping right foot in beside left, then pulsing a third time. Repeat, starting with right foot. Do the sequence twice.
Start with feet together. Step forward with left foot, allowing weight and hips to move with body ( A). Step right foot in place; step left back to center. Step back with right foot. Step left foot in place; step right back to center (B). Do the sequence twice; repeat, starting with right foot.
Start with feet together. Step back diagonally with right foot so it crosses behind body ( A), rocking weight back and letting hips roll with motion. Step left foot in place. Step right foot back to starting position. Repeat, stepping back with left foot (B). Do the sequence twice.